The last episode of Sora no Woto arguably surprised by waving goodbye to one of its lead characters, and so this eleventh instalment sees the 1121st Platoon shorn of Rio's unique qualities as she goes off to fulfil whatever destiny she might hold.
With Rio gone, it soon starts to become clear that the rumours surrounding the current peace talks going badly are more than simply that, with the girls of the platoon told in no uncertain terms to ensure that they complete all of their patrols - Isn't on just such a foray that they find the body of an unconscious soldier laying in the snow. It isn't just any solider however, but a Roman... The enemy of the Helvetians in this particular war.
Of course, this finding gives Felicia quite the headache, as she finds herself torn between her duty as a soldier and her more human nature as to whether to turn this captive soldier in or not - A decision that is ultimately taken out of her hands as circumstances overtake her. Meanwhile, the Roman soldier in questions appears to be in Seize on more of a tourist trip than a scouting mission as she admits that she was looking for the "angel" that we saw underwater way back towards the start of the series. Perhaps most importantly of all, Noel's past begins to come to light, complete with an absolutely shocking revelation to bring this particular episode towards its climax.
From a slightly slow-burning start, this instalment certainly did an excellent job of slowly ramping up its dramatic tension to a head while also carefully and strategically revealing major plot points to keep things very interesting indeed. Once again, the futility of war is clearly well within the sights of this series, with a stark message as to how similar the two factions are once you overcome any prejudices and language barriers (and who knew my A-Level in German would come in handy for this series?). Even if such sentiments hold no interest to you, then Noel's story certainly looks as though it could be a compelling one, while it will surely be fascinating to see what happens when the girls of the platoon are thrown into war, as is most probably going to be the case next episode. Once again, Sora no Woto has succeeded in exceeding its light and fluffy expectations, but without entirely shedding the innocence of those early episodes.